Azerbaijan, Baku, 29 July / Trend I.Izzet /
The elections in Azerbaijan are free, a citizen decides either to go to the polls or not to go, that is his right, not an obligation, the First Vice-Speaker of Azerbaijani Parliament Ziyafat Askerov said on Monday.
"However, in some states, people are penalized for not voting, and if such incidents continue, they are perceived as a crime," he said. "There is no need for that in Azerbaijan as the citizens of Azerbaijan are politically active."
Askerov made the remarks on the first day of specialized courses on electoral law for the chairmen of District Election Commissions (DECs) conducted by the Central Election Commission (CEC).
Speaking on 'Legal basis for the participation of political parties and party alliances in the elections (referendums)', Askerov provided information on the electoral law and the electoral system concepts.
Askerov said that elections are the only way of coming to power, adding that the majoritarian (single-member) electoral system applied in Azerbaijan is the most appropriate under the country's conditions.
"Under the proportional system, the voter has to vote in favor of all parties represented in the list. He has to vote not only for the person he would like to see in power, but also for the one not favored by him. The proportional system does not allow the voter to vote directly," he said.
"This situation also violates certain articles of the Constitution. Sometimes, whole regions and districts turn out to be represented by their own candidates under the proportional system," Askerov said.
The presidential elections in Azerbaijan are scheduled to be held in Autumn.
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